Kotaku is a video game website and blog that was originally launched in 2004 as part of the Gawker Media network.[2] Notable former contributors to the site include Luke Smith,[3] Cecilia D'Anastasio, Tim Rogers, and Jason Schreier.

Kotaku logo.svg
Type of site
Gaming blog
OwnerG/O Media
Created byBrian Crecente
EditorPatricia Hernandez[1]
LaunchedOctober 2004; 18 years ago (2004-10)


Kotaku was first launched in October 2004 with Matthew Gallant as its lead writer, with an intended target audience of young men.[4][5] About a month later, Brian Crecente was brought in to try to save the failing site.[6] Since then, the site has launched several country-specific sites for Australia, Japan, Brazil and the UK. Crecente was named one of the 20 most influential people in the video game industry over the past 20 years by GamePro in 2009[7] and one of gaming's Top 50 journalists by Edge in 2006. The site has made CNET's "Blog 100" list[8] and was ranked 50th on PC Magazine's "Top 100 Classic Web Sites" list.[9] Its name comes from the Japanese otaku (obsessive fan) and the prefix "ko-" (small in size).[10]

In 2009, Business Insider reported that Hearst Corporation sought to buy Kotaku from Gawker Media.[11]

Stephen Totilo replaced Brian Crecente as the editor in chief in 2012.[12] Totilo had previously joined Kotaku in 2009 as deputy editor.[13]

In April 2014, Gawker Media partnered with Future plc to launch Kotaku UK, and with Allure Media to launch Kotaku Australia.[14]

Kotaku was one of several websites that was purchased by Univision Communications in their acquisition of Gawker Media in August 2016; Gizmodo Media Group was subsequently founded to house the Gawker acquisitions, operating under the Fusion Media Group, a division of Univision.[15] The Gizmodo Media Group was later acquired by the private equity firm Great Hill Partners in April 2019, and renamed G/O Media.[16]

In December 2018 Pedestrian Group, owned by the Australian media company Nine Entertainment, acquired Kotaku Australia.[17][18] and as of March 2022 continues to own it.[19]

The transition to G/O Media led to several departures from the site, as well as from other sister sites under the former Gawker Media label due to conflicts with G/O Media's management. Cecilia D'Anastasio left Kotaku in December 2019 to become a journalist for Wired.[20] Joshua Rivera and Gita Jackson left in January 2020 stating it was impossible to work with the new management.[21] Jason Schreier, one of Kotaku's writers since 2012 known for his investigative in-depth coverage of working conditions at various studios and development histories for various video games, announced his departure from the site on April 16, 2020, citing the issues surrounding G/O Media which filtered into disruptions at their sister website Deadspin around October 2019. Schreier subsequently took a position at Bloomberg News.[22] In May 2020, senior writer Harper Jay MacIntyre[a] departed from Kotaku, similarly citing conflicts with management, and joined Double Fine Productions as their content and community manager.[25]

Kotaku UK closed on September 9, 2020.[26]

Totilo announced he was departing as editor in chief on February 5, 2021, though will remain in games journalism elsewhere.[13] Riley MacLeod served as interim editor in chief following Totilo's departure, before Patricia Hernandez commenced her tenure as editor in chief from June 2, 2021.[27]


In 2007, attorney Jack Thompson sued Gawker Media and site editor Brian Crecente over concerns that Kotaku declined to remove threatening user comments,[28] but the lawsuit was dismissed the next day.[29]

In 2010, Kotaku criticized Japanese magazine Famitsu's glowing endorsement of Konami's PlayStation Portable game Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker as a conflict of interest. In response, Konami revoked Kotaku's invitation to the game's launch party.[30]

On October 9, 2021, Kotaku published an article about Metroid Dread, which had been released a day prior, running on Nintendo Switch emulators. The article praised the game's performance on emulators (said to be better than on the Nintendo Switch itself), thanked "pirates, emulators, modders, and hackers", and suggested readers emulate older or expensive games themselves.[31] The article was criticized for promoting piracy, especially of newly-released games, but was also noted to have sparked wider discussions about the role of emulation in video game preservation.[32][33][34][35] On October 10, Kotaku revised the article to clarify they were referring to game preservation[36] and, after a complaint from Nintendo on a later date, removed all mentions of piracy from the article.[37] Kotaku also issued an apology and stated that, though they believed emulation was "a vital part of the world of gaming", they did not condone using it to acquire games illegally.[37]


In 2007, Kotaku ran a story about rumored upcoming features on the PlayStation 3, and Sony responded by temporarily blacklisting the website.[38] In 2015, Kotaku claimed that they had been blacklisted by major video game companies Bethesda Softworks and Ubisoft.[39][40] Because of this blacklist, Kotaku opted not to be a jury member in The Game Awards when invited by Geoff Keighley in 2019.[41] In 2023, Kotaku was blacklisted by Nintendo, reportedly over articles that covered leaks of unreleased Nintendo games.[42]

Gamergate harassment campaignEdit

In 2014, Kotaku was part of the accusations that instigated the harassment campaign known as Gamergate when a writer from the site, Nathan Grayson, was accused of writing a favorable review of the game Depression Quest as a result of his relationship with its developer, Zoë Quinn. After conducting an internal review, it was discovered that no review of Depression Quest existed and he had only written one article that mentioned Quinn in passing before their relationship began.[43][44] The subreddit /r/KotakuInAction became a hub for the Gamergate community.[45][46] Its creator attempted to shut it down in 2018, claiming that it had become "infested with racism and sexism", but it was reinstated by a Reddit administrator due to the site's guidelines.[47][48]


  1. ^ Formerly known by the pen name "Heather Alexandra", now goes by Harper Jay MacIntyre after a legal name change.[23][24]


  1. ^ "What's a Kotaku? Who Works Here?". Kotaku. August 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  2. ^ "A Note to Readers". June 10, 2016. Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  3. ^ "GAMING'S TOP 50 JOURNALISTS". Edge. October 17, 2006. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  4. ^ Carr, David (October 4, 2004). "At These Web Sites, It's a Man's World". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  5. ^ Parker, Pamela (October 4, 2004). "Gawker Media: We're Where the Boys Are". ClickZ. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  6. ^ "Kotaku". November 9, 2004. Archived from the original on November 9, 2004.
  7. ^ Shuman, Sid (May 2009). "20 Most Influential People in Gaming: #20 – Brian Crecente". IDG. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  8. ^ "CNET News.com'S Blog 100". CNET. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  9. ^ "The Top 100 Classic Web Sites". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  10. ^ "Kotaku FAQ". Kotaku. Gawker Media. July 2, 2004. Archived from the original on July 15, 2007. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  11. ^ Carlson, Nicholas (November 13, 2009). "Hearst Eyed Videogame Blog Kotaku For Acquisition". Business Insider. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  12. ^ Caoili, Eric (January 3, 2012). "Consumer gaming blog Kotaku loses key staff". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Sinclair, Brendan (February 5, 2021). "Stephen Totilo leaves Kotaku". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  14. ^ Reynolds, John (March 13, 2014). "Gawker links up with Future to launch Lifehacker and Kotaku in UK". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  15. ^ Calderone, Michael (August 18, 2016). "Gawker.com Ending Operations Next Week". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on October 16, 2016.
  16. ^ Ha, Anthony (April 8, 2019). "Gizmodo Media Group acquired by private equity firm Great Hill Partners". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  17. ^ Bennett, Lindsay (December 11, 2018). "Pedestrian TV to absorb Allure Media in post-Fairfax consolidation". AdNews. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  18. ^ "Nine merging digital publishers Pedestrian.TV & Allure Media". Mediaweek. December 11, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  19. ^ "Home page". Pedestrian Group. Archived from the original on March 15, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  20. ^ D'Anastasio, Cecilia (December 5, 2019). "Goodbye". Kotaku. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  21. ^ Jackson, Gita (January 10, 2020). "Goodbye From Josh and Gita". Kotaku. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  22. ^ Park, Gene (April 16, 2020). "Jason Schreier is leaving Kotaku, citing G/O Media as reason". Washington Post. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  23. ^ MacIntyre, Harper Jay (September 22, 2021). "On September 20th, my name was legally changed to Harper Jay MacIntyre. (I have no issue sharing that last name; I've done so professionally.) Heather was a spur of the moment choice as a writer. This? Is me. A deliberate choice to become who I am". Twitter. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  24. ^ MacIntyre, Harper Jay (November 2, 2021). "Psychonauts 2 Update #21: Quality Of Life". Fig. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  25. ^ MacIntyre, Harper Jay (May 8, 2020). "To The Horizon". Kotaku. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  26. ^ Stanton, Rich (September 7, 2020). "Farewell from Kotaku UK". Kotaku UK. Archived from the original on September 7, 2020. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  27. ^ Liao, Shannon (May 27, 2021). "Kotaku's next editor in chief will be Patricia Hernandez". Washington Post. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  28. ^ McCarthy, Caroline (April 26, 2007). "Gaming foe Jack Thompson sues Gawker Media". CNET. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  29. ^ McCarthy, Caroline (April 27, 2007). "Judge tosses out Jack Thompson's lawsuit against Gawker Media". CNET. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  30. ^ Quillen, Dustin (April 26, 2010). "Konami Shuns Blog Over Metal Gear Review Controversy". 1up. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  31. ^ Zwiezen, Zack (October 9, 2021). "Metroid Dread Is Already Running On Switch Emulators". Kotaku. Archived from the original on October 9, 2021. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  32. ^ Warner, Noelle (October 19, 2021). "Pirating Metroid aside, emulators play an important role in games preservation". Destructoid. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  33. ^ King, Jade (October 11, 2021). "Even If Piracy Is Wrong, Nintendo Will Be Just Fine". TheGamer. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  34. ^ Andrews, Heath (October 10, 2021). "Kotaku Possibly Sabotaging "Metroid Dread" Sales with Emulator Links". NERDBOT. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  35. ^ Liebl, Matthew (October 10, 2021). "Support game developers, please don't emulate Metroid Dread". App Trigger. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  36. ^ Zwiezen, Zack (October 9, 2021). "Metroid Dread Is Already Running On Switch Emulators". Kotaku. Archived from the original on October 11, 2021. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  37. ^ a b Zwiezen, Zack (October 9, 2021). "Metroid Dread Is Already Running On Switch Emulators". Kotaku. Archived from the original on October 24, 2021. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  38. ^ Kohler, Chris (March 1, 2007). "Sony and Kotaku In Blacklist Flap". Wired.com. Archived from the original on July 27, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  39. ^ Totilo, Stephen (November 19, 2015). "A Price Of Games Journalism". Kotaku. Archived from the original on November 20, 2015.
  40. ^ Orland, Kyle (November 20, 2015). "Analysis: Kotaku, blacklisting, and the independence of the gaming press". Ars Technica. Retrieved February 6, 2023.
  41. ^ Glennon, Jen (December 11, 2019). "Geoff Keighley Is The Nicest Power Player In Video Games". Inverse. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  42. ^ "Kotaku Blacklisted by Nintendo for Posting Leaks". The Gaming Watcher. April 28, 2023. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  43. ^ Rott, Nathan (September 24, 2014). "#Gamergate Controversy Fuels Debate On Women And Video Games". NPR.org. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  44. ^ "In recent days I've been asked several times about a possible breach of ethics involving one of". Kotaku. August 20, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  45. ^ Bernstein, Joseph (October 30, 2014). "The Disturbing Misogynist History Of GamerGate's Goodwill Ambassadors". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  46. ^ Singal, Jesse (October 20, 2014). "Gamergate Should Stop Lying to Itself". New York. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  47. ^ "The Creator of the Largest Gamergate Subreddit Rage Quits, Says it's 'Infested With Racism and Sexism'". Vice. July 13, 2018. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  48. ^ Alexander, Julia (July 13, 2018). "Reddit employee saves GamerGate subreddit, KotakuInAction, after founder closes it". Polygon. Retrieved July 27, 2019.

External linksEdit